Stewart, “Quiet beauty: problems of agency and appearance in evangelical Christianity”

Stewart, Anna. 2015. “Quiet beauty: problems of agency and appearance in evangelical Christianity.” Religion DOI:10.1080/0048721X.2015.1042990

Abstract: How does the cultivation of beauty interact with agency? In this article the author discusses the religious value of beauty for conservative evangelical Christians in the English town of Brighton. Building on the anthropological approach to art and agency developed by Alfred Gell, the author considers the manner in which the everyday of bodies, relationships and personal testimonies become implicated in a deferential semiotics in which meaning resides in the self but is not owned by it. Through this work, women engage with an on-going project of visibility and objectification that is often tenuous and difficult but is nevertheless compelling, as they seek to mediate the agency of God.

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